Did you know that Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, the sequel to the hit manga series Naruto, is not drawn by the original mangaka but by one of his assistants? You read that right! When offered to work on a sequel to his timeless piece, Naruto mangaka Masashi Kishimoto turned down the job but recommended his longtime assistant Mikio Ikemoto for the job. If that story sounds familiar, it is because Kishimoto just followed the actions of his protagonists in his story. Kishimoto acted like the Third Hokage Hiruzen Sarutobi, who passed on his will, philosophies, and capabilities onto the ninja who would become the legendary Sannin, Jiraiya. In fact, the passing of the torch is a recurring theme in Kishimoto’s ninja world. Jiraiya will pass on the wisdom onto Namikaze Minato, who will become the Fourth Hokage and Jiraiya will later impart the philosophy to Naruto, Minato’s son. Minato also had a similar ritual with his mentee Hatake Kakashi, who will mentor Naruto in his youth. WOW. Talk about practicing what you preach.
Kishimoto actually has drawn Boruto, but a 2015 animated film, Boruto: Naruto the Movie, which was also released with English dubbing. Kishimoto worked with Ikemoto and screenplay writer Ukyo Kodachi for the project. The movie received so many praises that it paved way for Boruto to have his own series, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. Despite working for Kishimoto for a long time, Ikemoto was lauded for his ability to make the series his own. While there are many similarities in the art and many of the storylines are just continuation of the Naruto, it is viewed as a lighter and more child-friendly series.
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